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GREENSTREET

Paterno Trivium

This text is part of Parks’ Historical Signs Project and can be found posted within the park.
This trivium (Latin for a place where three roads meet), at the juncture of Cabrini Boulevard, Pinehurst Avenue, and West 187th Street, is named for Dr. Charles V. Paterno (1877-1946), the person most responsible for the residential development of this section of the Fort Washington neighborhood.  The Paterno family arrived in New York from southern Italy and became involved in apartment house construction.  Paterno trained as a medical doctor, but after his father's death in 1899, became an active builder throughout Manhattan.  In 1905, he purchased land along the Hudson River, south of 187th Street, and constructed a grand mansion known as "Paterno's Castle."  Paterno acquired additional land in the 1920s, on which he erected the picturesque English Tudor style Hudson View Gardens complex in 1923-24, one of New York City's earliest middle-class cooperatives.  In 1938-39, after moving to Connecticut, Paterno replaced the castle with the Castle Village apartment complex.  This series of five buildings was the first in America to employ the progressive European idea of setting tall residential towers in a park-like setting.

In the spring of 2000, Paterno Trivium became a Greenstreet site.  Greenstreets is a joint project of Parks and Transportation begun in 1986 and revived in 1994.  Its goal is to convert paved street properties, such as triangles and malls, into green spaces.  Winter King Hawthorn trees (Crataegus viridis) and a ground cover of Cowberry (Vaccinium vitis-idaea magnus) adorn Paterno Trivium.

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